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What Is a Sugar Face Scrub?

Alex Tree
By
Updated May 17, 2024
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A sugar face scrub is a mix of sugar and oil, though fragrance is a popular addition. It is used by applying it to the face and then gently rubbing in a circular motion to rid the skin of surface grime and dead skin. Using a very abrasive scrub or rubbing too long can irritate a person’s skin. The benefits of properly using a gentle scrub are smooth skin and, depending on any additional ingredients, sometimes a brighter complexion.

Sugar face scrubs are usually primarily made of sugar and oil. Pure cane sugar is rougher on the skin than a fine, brown sugar. The oil used depends on the maker’s preference. Some people prefer glycerin, which is relatively inexpensive, while others use walnut, olive, or avocado oil. In addition, an essential oil can be added to improve the fragrance. It is possible to be allergic to these oils, though, so some caution is necessary.

Using a facial scrub involves gently rubbing it on the face in circular motions. It is usually not a good idea to get the face scrub in the nose, ears, or eyes. The purpose of a face scrub is to scrub the face, and while a sugar face scrub is usually made of ingredients normally considered benign, they can irritate internal body parts. A person using a sugar face scrub should also keep his or her hair off the face, because the scrub is not necessarily good for it and the hair can get in the way.

While a good sugar face scrub should be fairly gentle, excessive use can irritate the skin. How much scrubbing is too much varies from person to person. Once or twice a week is sometimes more than enough for one person’s skin, but someone else might be happy with once every two weeks. It is generally advisable for a person to gradually adjust his or her usage of exfoliants in order to avoid excessive use and learn what his or her skin can tolerate.

One benefit of a sugar face scrub is that the exfoliating ingredient is sugar, which is grainy enough to remove dead skin cells but fine enough not to severely irritate skin. Store-bought sugar scrubs sometimes have particles that are too rough on most people’s skin. These particles are not sugar, but tiny synthetic balls used to make the scrub more aesthetically appealing and to make customers think the product is given an additional boost of exfoliating power. Only sugar is necessary to exfoliate, however, so potential customers should ask to feel the texture of a product before purchasing it.

WiseGeek is dedicated to providing accurate and trustworthy information. We carefully select reputable sources and employ a rigorous fact-checking process to maintain the highest standards. To learn more about our commitment to accuracy, read our editorial process.
Alex Tree
By Alex Tree
Andrew McDowell is a talented writer and WiseGeek contributor. His unique perspective and ability to communicate complex ideas in an accessible manner make him a valuable asset to the team, as he crafts content that both informs and engages readers.
Discussion Comments
By anon243295 — On Jan 27, 2012

Corn meal and aloe vera gel or water works better. Make into a thick paste. I learned this in esthetics school.

Alex Tree
Alex Tree
Andrew McDowell is a talented writer and WiseGeek contributor. His unique perspective and ability to communicate complex ideas in an accessible manner make him a valuable asset to the team, as he crafts content that both informs and engages readers.
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